Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
The application procedures are discussed here .
Applications are accepted anytime, however, applications are reviewed only once a year and new students are accepted only for the fall semester. The application deadline is December 15 for the following fall.
There is no minimum. The admissions committee reviews all materials and makes decisions based on an applicant’s entire packet. Nevertheless, because we cannot accept everyone who applies, GPA is one component of the application packet that helps us make difficult decisions about who should be accepted. For our Ph.D. program, the average GPA for current students accepted last year was 3.48. For our incoming Ph.D. students who entered with a M.A. degree, their average graduate school GPA was 3.67.
For our M.A. program, the average GPA for current students accepted last year was 3.54. Please keep in mind that these are averages so some people had higher GPAs and others had lower GPAs.
There is no minimum. The admissions committee reviews all materials and makes decisions based on an applicant’s entire packet. Nevertheless, because we cannot accept everyone who applies, GRE is one component of the application packet that helps us make difficult decisions about who should be accepted. For our Ph.D. program, the average GREs for current students accepted last year was 294 (composite of verbal and quantitative scores).
For our M.A. programs, the average GRE for current students accepted last year was a composite of 296 (verbal and quantitative scores combined). Please keep in mind that these are averages so some people had higher GREs and others had lower GREs.
You should definitely discuss the program (e.g., Health; Legal; Social, Cognitive, & Neuroscience; or Language Acquisition and Bilingualism) for which you are applying, what types of research you are interested in doing, and faculty members whose research interests you. Discuss anything else about your history such as previous research experience that might not be apparent in your other materials. It may also be useful to discuss your career plans.
Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?
It is best to get letters from people who are familiar with you and who know what it takes to successfully complete a graduate degree in psychology. Thus, people with an advanced degree in psychology are typically the best sources for letters (given that they know you well enough to assess your potential for success in graduate school and believe you can be successful!). People who have advanced degrees in disciplines other than psychology can also provide good letters.
No. Please ask the people writing your letter to clearly indicate your name in their letters and send them directly to the graduate school or complete the online recommendation form. It is better if your application arrives before your letters of recommendation.
Can I visit your program and talk to faculty and students?
Applicants are free to visit at their own expense in consultation with the program; however, we make arrangements for Ph.D. students who have been accepted into our program to visit before the acceptance deadline (April 15). The time of the visitation varies from year to year depending on university and faculty schedules but is usually in March. If you are interested in learning more about our program before you apply, you should contact faculty members whose research interests you. All of our faculty are happy to talk to prospective students and can make arrangements for you to visit and/or talk with others who can help answer your questions.
Yes. However, students without a Psychology degree are encouraged to successfully complete leveling courses before they are fully admitted to the program. These leveling courses must include a course in psychological statistics and 12 hours of upper-division courses in psychology including a course in experimental psychology.
Yes. However, always remember that we cannot accept all of the people who apply to the program and that taking and successfully completing leveling courses will not guarantee acceptance into one of our programs.
Yes. You will be required to successfully complete all leveling courses before starting graduate coursework.
You can take graduate classes in Psychology for one semester as a non-degree graduate student. There are potential costs, however, to doing this. First, as a non-degree graduate student you will not be eligible for financial aid. Second, even if you take and do well in graduate psychology courses as a non-degree student, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted into the graduate program.
Information about the GRE can be found at this Graduate School web page: http://graduate.utep.edu
Information on tuition and fees can be found at this graduate school site (http://graduate.utep.edu) . All students who are employed by the University (all Ph.D. students and many M.A. students) are eligible to receive in state tuition. Ph.D. students also receive $3000 tuition waiver each year to help cover the cost of tuition.
The time varies considerably among individuals primarily due to differences in how long it takes people to conduct and write their Master’s Thesis. That being said, the majority of people complete their degree in two to three years.
We have two different M.A. programs that differ in their required credit hours – the Clinical M.A. program requires 45 credit hours and the Experimental M.A. requires 30 credits.
The time varies considerably among individuals primarily due to differences in how long it takes people to conduct and write their Thesis and\or Dissertation and whether or not the person had an M.A. before starting our Ph.D. program. That being said, people who enter with an M.A. typically finish in 2-½ to 4-½ years and people who enter the program without an M.A. typically finish in 4-½ to 6 years.
It takes 78 credit hours to get a doctorate in Psychology.
No. A primary focus of all of our programs is teaching students how to do psychological research. This type of education requires extensive one-on-one collaboration with faculty and can only be done in person.